Mohair is one of my most favourite fibres to knit with. I love how versatile it is and how you can incorporate it into such a wide range of projects. It works beautiful on its own, but can add a really special extra element to any other yarn, too.
It retails for drastically different price points across the market. Brands like Wool and the Gang occupy the top end of the market, with their mohair retailing for £11.20 for only 100m of yarn. Most prominent mohair yarns seem to be around £8.00-£10 per 200m, with We Are Knitters, BettaKnit, Lauren Aston Designs, Debbie Bliss, Sandnes Garn, Rowan, and one half of today’s comparison, Knitting for Olive, all sitting around this price point. Drops Design, meanwhile, is a relative bargain at £3.80 (and often even less!) per 200m. Of course, there are numerous other brands with varying prices, but this seems to be the trend. So, with this in mind, how does Knitting for Olive’s mid-range mohair compare with Drops’ mohair? Let’s see!
As outlined above, Drops is significantly cheaper than Knitting for Olive.
Knitting for Olive’s Soft Silk Mohair retails for c. £7.75 (€8.75; I’m putting this into GBP for comparison’s sake) per 25g skein, with each skein measuring 225m. This means that the yarn costs c. £3.44 (€3.88) per 100m. Considering that this is a 70:30 mohair to silk blend that is produced in Italy to meet REACH standards, I think that this is a very reasonable price point. In my experience, the quality and performance of the yarn are both excellent. It’s also worth noting that you can currently buy a limited range of colours in a 200g cone for £50-ish (€56). This brings the cost per 25g down to £6.35 (€7.00) and per 100m down to £2.82 (€3.11).
Drops’ Kid-Silk Mohair costs £3.80 (€4.50) per 25g skein, with each skein 210m. The yarn costs £1.80 (€2.14, meaning it is a fair bit cheaper to buy it in the UK than in the Eurozone at the time of writing!) per 100m. This yarn is also a blend of mohair and mulberry silk, but this time the ratio is 75:25. However, £3.80 is the RRP of the yarn and it is often on sale through independent retails for less than this. For instance, at the time of writing, it is available from a few vendors for £3.58, bringing the price per 100m down to £1.70. This price point is kind of unbelievable, to be honest. There’s no information about the production conditions of this yarn. Given that it is also produced in the EU, there is some assurance that this will be managed.
They are both very soft, lustrous and beautiful, but Knitting for Olive’s Soft Silk Mohair is a shade silkier and softer.
Needle size and gauge
I can’t find any information about the recommended needle size or gauge for Knitting for Olive’s Soft Silk Mohair. If you know more than I do on this, please let me know so I can add it in here! I think the omission might be intentional, though, since this yarn can be used in conjunction with others so easily. For comparison’s sake, I worked a 10x10cm swatch on 3.5mm needles with 23 stitches over 30 rows. This was based on Drops’ stated gauge. This seemed to work well, but it wasn’t quite wide enough. I wouldn’t choose to use this yarn in this way.
Drops suggest that you work a 10x10cm swatch on 3.5mm needles with 23 stitches over 30 rows. Again, this was perfectly fine – if a bit rectangular – but I just couldn’t be bothered to actually make anything with this gauge! I would rather hold it double on 5mm needles, or something like that…
Both of these mohair yarns have excellent colour ranges. From what I can tell, mohair takes dye very nicely (thanks, Wikipedia!!) so this isn’t surprising.
Knitting for Olive currently offer 48 colours, 16 of which can be purchased in 200g cones. There is a great mix of warm, cool, light, and dark colours. If you love nuance in your yarn shades, you’ll find a lot to be happy about here. Each colour seems to have a few variations; for instance, there is a Deep Petroleum Blue and a Dusty Petroleum Blue (pictured), not to mention the 6 off-white shades! It’s really worth browsing through their website to get a sense of the colour range.
Drops offer an equally excellent range of 37 colours, 2 of which are self-striping if that’s your jam. Again, the range is well-balanced between light, dark, cool, and warm shades. The range does not have as much nuance as Knitting for Olive, but that isn’t to say that there aren’t some really interesting and beautiful shades in the line up, especially through the red-pink-purple and blue-green parts of the spectrum. I’ve tried a few of these (01 Off White, 03 Light Pink, and 04 Old Pink) and they are all very pretty, indeed.
Versatility and use
By far, my favourite part of working with mohair is its versatility. You can either use it own its own, held single, double, triple… Whatever! Or, you can use it in combination with other yarns to add a silky luxurious quality to any project. I have used Drops’ yarn in combination with We Are Knitters’ Meriwool and Petite Wool, in both cases to great effect. You can really play with colour by matching your yarns or contrasting them. This is especially cool when the mohair or base yarn is self-striping!
In theory, this applies to both the Knitting for Olive and the Drops mohairs. Both perform very well on their own and in combination with other fibres.
However: I prefer to use the Knitting for Olive yarn by itself and the Drops yarn with others. This is in part due to the price – if I’m spending more money on a yarn, then I want to be able to show it off – and also because of the slight difference in softness. I’m not sensitive to mohair despite having very sensitive skin, but I do find the Drops yarn to be a tiny bit more ‘scratchy’, if I were to be pedantic. The difference isn’t too noticeable, though, so the difference
Final thoughts (feat. a cringe-inducing video 🙈)
Both of these are great options at their respective price point. I think you are getting particularly good value for money with the Drops yarn, but I cannot fault the quality and colour range of the Knitting for Olive mohair. It, too, is great value for money. It is also worth noting that Knitting for Olive is an independent, family-owned brand and that their yarn meets REACH standards.
I will continue to buy both of these yarns, but for different purposes. If I want to add mohair to a wool or alpaca yarn, I’ll opt for the Drops yarn. If I’m making a mohair sweater/cardigan/whatever, it’ll be Knitting for Olive. I think that this is the best way to get good value for money and to make the most of your yarn purchases.
For this post, I’ve made a short little video showing off the sheen and lustre of the yarn in good light. I wanted to highlight (pardon the pun!) the differences between these two products. I’ve compared what I had in my stash – Drops 03 Light Pink and KfO Dusty Petroleum Blue – and it’s worth stating that these colours don’t make for an ideal comparison. I’m planning on ordering some lighter-coloured Soft Silk Mohair soon, so I’ll probably re-film this then.
I hope you find this post helpful!